Kyle Holmes

This month Kyle’s Cheaper Alternatives looks at the Logitech Desktop LX310 Laser Keyboard+Mouse combo pack. Oftentimes students and faculty members find themselves wanting to go wireless, either with their desktops or laptops. Those that have already liberated themselves from the constraints of keyboard/mice wires can attest to the luxurious lifestyle it provides: being able to type while reclining in one’s chair and from a distance is just the surface of a few benefits from this wireless duo. While the high end Microsoft, Apple and Logitech wireless keyboards and mice can cost an arm and a leg, the LX310 provides a much more cost efficient alternative yet still maintains a quality product.

The freedom of wireless!

The freedom of wireless!

Let us start examining the LX310’s basic features:

  • It’s made by Logitech – Logitech is notorious for making durable and reliable computer accessories. The name itself should be its first point of appeal
  • Comes with a five year product warranty (Guaranteed five million keystrokes and spill resistant design)
  • Plug-N-Play easy set up on almost all computers
  • Claimed battery life is up to six months (Battery indicator on featured on mouse)
  • Approximately 20 feet of wireless range
  • Long cable on USB wireless receiver allows users to optimize wireless connectivity
  • Ambidextrous mouse is easy to hold
  • Soft-touch palm rests for typing support and comfort
  • Keys are fairly quiet compared to cheaper keyboards
  • Sleek black and silver design is easy on the eyes

Logitech advertises the LX310 as being available for Windows XP and Vista. What they fail to mention however, is that the combo also functions on Mac computer. “Why was it not listed?” you might ask. Logitech omits the Mac for several reasons, the first being that you will only get approximately 95% functionality from the keyboard on a Mac. On my Macbook Pro with OSX 10.5.6, I was able to use every key on the keyboard, (including the “Windows” key as the “Apple” key) however only the volume and digital music playback controls worked from the keyboard’s available buttons. (Web Navigation, Mail and Calc hot keys didn’t function properly). The mouse and its tilt wheel and buttons worked perfectly however. The second reason is simple marketing… Why would Logitech want you to buy their LX310 for your Mac at $54.99 when you could buy their S530 Combo for $69.99 that is specifically marketed for Apple computers? Aside from the sleek cosmetics the S530 gives you a slightly better mouse, a smaller USB receiver and has additional iPhoto and Finder hotkeys, but that’s why the LX310 is a cheaper alternative.

Here is the Logitech MX310

Here is the Logitech MX310

The LX310’s Competitors

  • Logitech S530 for Mac – $70.00
  • Logitech Cordless Desktop Wave – $80
  • Logitech MX3200 (advertised for Windows) – $80
  • Apple Wireless Keyboard ($80) + Mighty Mouse ($70) – $150

Overall the Logitech LX310 was January’s Cheaper Alternative because of its ability to compete with the more expensive products as far as functionality and cosmetics go. While it might not have all the bells and whistles the Logitech MX3200 has, it’s a durable and reliable package for the average computer user.

The LX310 can be purchased in the UC Davis Bookstore’s Tech Hub – Look for Kyle’s Cheaper Alternative Display.